FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2008
CONTACT: National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA)
Andrea Keller Helsel, National Parks Conservation Association,
National Parks Conservation Association Names 10 National Parks Most Threatened by New Coal-Fired Power Plants
Parks Group Calls on Administration to Abandon Effort to Permit More Power Plant Pollution Near National Parks By Weakening Clean Air Regulations
WASHINGTON, DC – May 15 – The nation’s leading voice for the national parks, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), today called on the Administration to halt its efforts to rollback clean air protections for national parks, citing 10 national parks at risk from pollution from new coal-fired power plants.
“Americans expect and deserve clean air when they visit our national parks,” said NPCA Clean Air and Climate Programs Director Mark Wenzler. “Instead of opening the door to more pollution in national parks such as Shenandoah, Great Basin, and Zion, the Administration should be working to secure a legacy that preserves America’s national treasures for our children and grandchildren.”
NPCA’s new report, Dark Horizons, identifies the 10 national parks most at risk from pollution from new coal-fired power plants as Shenandoah (Va.), Great Smoky Mountains (Tenn./ N.C.), Mammoth Cave (Ky.), Theodore Roosevelt (N.D.), Mesa Verde (Co.), Capitol Reef (Utah), Zion (Utah), Great Basin (Nev.), Wind Cave (S.D.), and Badlands (S.D.).
NPCA is calling on the Administration to halt its efforts to weaken clean air protections for national parks. Despite objections from its own scientists and the National Park Service, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing to finalize a rule that weakens pollution standards and makes it easier to build new coal-fired power plants near national parks. NPCA warns that national parks such as Shenandoah will suffer greater pollution, and wildlife and scenic views in national parks such as Great Basin, which is largely unaffected by air pollution, will be harmed.
Echoing NPCA’s concerns, U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA-30th), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has written several letters to EPA Administrator Johnson about this rulemaking and its potential affect on national parks, calling for it to be withdrawn.